Manawatu-Wanganui top spot in 2005

Published: Mon 20 Feb 2006 03:57 PM
Manawatu-Wanganui top spot in 2005
Manawatu-Wanganui had the strongest rate of economic growth in New Zealand over the 2005 calendar year, according to the National Bank’s regional trends bulletin. The region’s growth was 3.9 percent.
The achievement is a milestone for the region, which has not led the nation in economic growth over a calendar year since 1980.
The year-on-year increase would have been greater except that the December quarter shows the region had the largest decline in economic activity with residential and commercial building permits dropping 18 percent and 15 percent respectively. Retail sales declined 4.3 percent and accommodation guest nights 2.3 percent.
Vision Manawatu CEO Ian Reid said, “Despite some weakness in the last quarter, the region has some underpinning strengths. House sales are still rising as is employment. Manufacturing in this region is proving to be more sustainable in the Manawatu than in larger centres such as Auckland, and the growth in warehousing shows an increasing recognition of the region as a distribution centre.
“The real challenges now in front of Manawatu are how to identify barriers to future growth and manage those. It is timely that at this point we are just starting the next phase of our economic development strategy, which was published in early 2002. This document will set out our strategic direction as a region for the next five years.”

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